Edison State College Management Learning System
Bruce D. Parker
Edison State College
Prior to entering into the virtual world of the modern college learning system a pre-requisite would normally be a degree in computer science with a large background in computer programing. However, in a virtual world the need is for everyone to be able to understand how the virtual world works. The movie “Tron” from the 1980’s, (recently reproduced) is an easy way for anyone to envision the virtual world. This process initially involves a moveable object (user), and the means by which they enter into the virtual world of multiple programmers and a centralized learning system in which all participants can operate collectively. These learning systems are comparable to large university buildings with multiple floors, numerous departments, teachers, students, faculty, and other essential personnel. One of the primary purposes for the modern college learning system is to enhance the learning experience from the universities perspective, the teacher’s perspective, and the student’s perspective. In the virtual world, outdated programs and systems frequently have to be up-dated or discarded (moved to the basement). Moore’s Law of computer dynamics stated that the “number of transistors on a chip will double approximately every two years.” (Moore, 1965) Moore’s Law is the foundation for exciting new technological capabilities and improved energy efficiency. In nonprofessional terms, this statement in essence says that technology will advance at a rapid rate. In order for the modern college or university to keep its faculty and students up with the current virtual world, it is essential that they keep ahead of the technological curve, as they are the principle educators and students in modern intellectual society. Blackboard CE6, the version of the prior primary system for this college is also a combination Learning Management System. Touring the Blackboard CE6 website is both informative and instructional. The CE6 system had been around for a long time in terms of the virtual world and was part of a continual acquisition plan by Blackboard to keep the company in the forefront in the world of educational systems. Web CT after its purchase by Blackboard was then changed to Blackboard CE6. The company is still viable and is still involved in higher educational learning systems. Approximately 55% of the Learning Management Systems in place are still in Blackboard. Canvas was wise to use open source as quickly as they did as they were on Blackboards hit list of growing LMS companies. The reasoning for the change to Canvas Instructure (hereafter known as CI) was multi-fold. In an interview with Edison States College Technical support team headed by Prof. Robert Anderson and supported by Prof. Melissa Rizzuto, Blackboard was changing it host system or platform from in house hosting to Blackboard managed hosting. This is simply another way of saying you will not get as much support as you used to get. In an ever-changing virtual world, like the learning management systems, this is a reasonable alarm to abandon ship. Some of the other reasons for the change to CI were that the systems were redundant requiring multiple entries of the same data. Blackboard CE6 is on an old platform Web 1.0 and the transition to Canvas Instructure allowed Edison State to move forward to Web 2.0. In simplified terms, we went from one server to multiple components interconnected on a platform in the cloud of the World Wide Web. The primary vision of how Web 2.0 works is in the Web 2.0 meme map below: [pic] (2)
The use and enhancement of Web 2.0 by CI is a direct result of moving forward with current technological advances. As is usual the case with new technology, a couple of recently graduated college students from BYU came up with Canvas...